Organizing Tips & Tricks: Filing Paperwork

Tips & Tricks


I had this epiphany. 
Handling paperwork doesn’t have to be a dreadful task…

If I simplify my filing system and throw a lot of it out.
Could it be this simple?

 Save or not to save, that is the question. Yes? No? Maybe?

  • If you don’t own a business there’s very little you need for tax purposes.
  • In a word “paperless!”
  • Most banks and credit card companies can send you statements via email. Once you’ve paid the bill… delete it from your computer, you can always access it on their website.
  • Bills… It’s so easy to set up bill paying via your bank. This way you don’t have to deal with envelopes, stamps, and checks.
  • Receipts… Why? Why? Why? Be selective.
  • Major purchases… yes!
  • Walgreens, Whole Foods… no!
  • Buy a trashcan and a shredder. No joke, these two pieces of equipment are your best friends.

Keep your filing system simple!

  • Creating too many categories in separate file folders will drive you crazy. For example, instead of individual file folders for each insurance policy, place all insurance policy statements in one file folder.
  • There is some logic to this madness,  think about it. How many times throughout the year do you need to review your auto insurance policy? When you look in the file folder labeled ‘insurance’ it’s easy to leaf through a small amount of paper to retrieve it. You could do this with utilities, phones, credit card statements etc.
  • Concentrate on developing a more detailed file system for the areas that you need to access more often, i.e. medical, technical issues, household expenses…
  • At the end of December pack up last year’s bills and receipts and start over for the new year. I leave the folders in place so I don’t have to recreate them. I clip together the contents of each file folder and label it with a yellow sticky note. Place all the paperwork in a large envelope and label it by year.

Simplify the important stuff.

  • Important means anything you’d need if you couldn’t access your home after a disaster.
  • Place all important documents in one place. In an emergency you can quickly take these with you: passports, your last will, and testament, list of bank accounts and numbers, credit card numbers, insurance policy numbers, mortgage paperwork.
  • See below for a way to contain these documents.

The more I explore… the more possible it becomes to simplify paperwork.

Have You Seen…?

Ways to manage paper.

Portable storage for important documents!

Get rid of it!

Trash cans are your BFF!
Trash cans